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County starts search for new Neighborhood Collaborative Project fiscal agent

Community Resource Collaborative's headquarters on College Street.
Jeremy Moule/WXXI News
Community Resource Collaborative's headquarters on College Avenue.

Monroe County is seeking a new organization to replace the Community Resource Collaborative as the fiscal agent for the Neighborhood Collaborative Project.

The move comes as investigators with the FBI, U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Attorney's Office, and New York Attorney General’s Office investigate CRC’s handling of $1.1 million in federal COVID relief funds. The county is also performing its own forensic audit.

CRC had been under contract with the county since May 2023 to distribute reimbursements for work done by Neighborhood Collaborative Project members. Those services ranged from food pantries to street outreach and workforce development.

But in late summer and early fall, the reimbursement checks stopped coming in. In late January, Anthony Hall, the CEO of the organization, fired Chief Operating Officer Tina Paradiso. Attorney Langston McFadden was retained earlier this month to investigate the organization internally.

Deputy County Executive Anthony Plonczynski-Figueroa said Friday that the county is looking to replace CRC as fiscal agent before the investigations are complete because of the precarious position that NCP organizations were left in.

“There is so much riding in the community in terms of individuals, citizens, taxpayers, and the like, who are currently without critical services due to some of the issues CRC has alerted us to,” Plonczynski-Figueroa said. “So, right now, in order to get that process started and get the process moving for the legislature and ourselves, we needed to get the (request for qualifications) process started now.”

The deadline for proposals is set for March 15.

Gino Fanelli is an investigative reporter who also covers City Hall. He joined the staff in 2019 by way of the Rochester Business Journal, and formerly served as a watchdog reporter for Gannett in Maryland and a stringer for the Associated Press.